Medical Marijuana: San Diego Dispensary Operator Found Not Guilty

In a blow to hard-line San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who has yet to find a medical marijuana dispensary she considers legal and who has coordinated a series of raids on dispensaries in recent years, a jury in San Diego Tuesday acquitted the manager of a local dispensary of marijuana possession and distribution charges. Jovan Jackson, 31, a Navy veteran, cried as the not guilty verdicts were read. He was, however, convicted on possession of Ecstasy and Xanax, small quantities of which were found in his home during an August 2008 raid. Still, Jackson expressed relief outside the courthouse. "I was very thankful," Jackson said. "This has been a long road. It hasn't been easy. I felt like a lot of weight was on my shoulders." Jackson's was the first medical marijuana case to go to trial since a series of Dumanis-orchestrated raids on dispensaries in September that resulted in 31 arrests and the closing of 14 San Diego-area dispensaries. Dumanis led other mass raids in 2006 and in February of this year. Jackson operated the Answerdam Alternative Care Collective, which was twice approached by undercover officers who had fraudulently obtained medical marijuana recommendations. Since the narcs had proper documentation under California law, and once they joined the collective by paying a $20 fee, Jackson let them purchase medical marijuana. Prosecutors presented evidence of $150,000 in credit card receipts and five pounds of marijuana seized during raids at the dispensary as evidence that, "This case is about making money, plain and simple," as Deputy District Attorney Chris Lindberg put it to the jury. But a large-scale operation is not out of line for a collective that boasted 1,649 members, as defense attorney K. Lance Rogers told the jury. He also reminded jurors that the narcs had signed up for the collective under false pretenses and that state law allows medical marijuana patients to legally buy marijuana from a collective that grows it. Jurors agreed, acquitting Jackson on the marijuana charges. Jurors told reporters after the trial that they found Jackson innocent because the state laws regarding medical marijuana sales from collectives were vague. "On a personal level, if you're going to hold somebody to a law, you have to define that law," said juror Perry Wright. It's not the end for Jackson. He faces up to three years in prison on the Ecstasty and Xanax possession charges, although he will most likely receive probation. And he faces another round of marijuana distribution charges from a similar undercover buy made this year. Given the verdict in this case, DA Dumanis might want to consider whether a re-run trial is worth the taxpayers' money and whether any of her pending dispensary prosecutions should go forward. But she probably won't.
Location: 
San Diego, CA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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It's a plant!

For goodness sake San Diego County put your resources into your parks and libraries, not one medical marijuana proprietor in a mmj approved state. Are you crazy?
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Jackson Trial Articles

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Lawyers for Jovan Jackson DEMAND FOR RETRACTION/CORRECTION
http://bonniedamantis.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/for-immediate-release-by-...
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Dumanis interviewed after Jackson verdict, “For Profit” MMJ sales now legal, read more here. . .
http://bonniedamantis.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/dumanis-interviewed-after...
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Videos of the Jovan Jackson verdict provided by San Diego ASA
http://bonniedamantis.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/san-diego-asa-videos-of-t...
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San Diego Courts find Bonnie Dumanis “unstable”. . .
http://bonniedamantis.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/bonnie-dumanis-is-unstabl...
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Verdict is in, “Bonnie Dumanis violates Jovan Jackson’s civil rights”, court says. . .
http://bonniedamantis.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/verdict-is-in-bonnie-duma...
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Now we're tracking the media

Despite the historic verdict on December 01, 2009, the civil rights violations of a US Navy war veteran and the loud message from the jury in the People v. Jackson, the media still supports Bonnie Dumanis, as of 12/03/09. . .
http://bonniedamantis.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/tracking-media-coverage-f...

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